the experience

How to prep for your new website

If you’re about to embark on the exciting journey of launching a shiny new website for your small business, I get it can feel incredibly overwhelming. Where to start? What platform? What do you actually need?

Here are my top tips to help alleviate a little of that overwhelm…

1. Define your goals (with a cup of tea in hand)

Before you dive headfirst into design and content, take a step back and think about what you want your website to achieve. Are you looking to up level your dream client base? Match your brand aesthetics to the quality of your work? Sell products online, or simply provide information? Jot down your goals while you enjoy a nice cup of tea (or coffee, if that’s your thing).

2. Know your audience and give them what they want

Imagine your ideal client. What are they like? What do they need? Your website shouldn’t be designed to what you want, it should be tailored to your audience’s preferences and needs. If you’re running a cute vintage shop, your website should be as charming and unique as your products. If you’re offering professional services, it should be sleek and easy to navigate.

3. Secure your domain name

Your domain name is your website’s address. It should be memorable and relevant to your business. Ideally, keep it short and avoid complicated spellings. If your business name is already taken, get creative with variations.

I recommend registering your domain name as soon as you can to avoid anyone getting in there first.

4. Choose the right website designer

Finding the perfect Website Designer is like finding a business partner who gets your vision. You’re not only going to be working closely together for a good few weeks during the build, but the relationship extends past this for the lifetime of your website. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right one:

  • Check Their Portfolio: Look at their previous work to see if their style matches your vision.
  • Read Reviews: See what other clients have to say about their experience.
  • Have a Chat: Schedule a meeting or a call to discuss your project and see if you click.
  • Ask About Process: Understand their process and timeline to make sure it aligns with your needs.
  • Discuss Budget: Be upfront about your budget to avoid any surprises later on.

A good Designer will not only create a beautiful website but also ensure it’s functional and user-friendly and whilst there are literally thousands of website designers out there, always opt for the one you connect with.

Remember, Designers work with different platforms. If, for example, you’re currently using Wix but your favourite designer is using WordPress, don’t be afraid to switch platforms – most Designers will handle the transition for you. (And if you want to know how I work, here’s my guide for switching to WordPress from Wix or Squarespace)

5. Content is King

Think about the content you need on your website. Here are a few essentials:

  • Home Page: A snapshot of who you are and what you do.
  • About Page: Your story, your team, your mission.
  • Products/Services: What you offer, with details and pricing.
  • Contact Information: Make it easy for people to get in touch.

Write in a way that reflects your brand’s personality. If you’re fun and quirky, let that shine through. If you’re professional and polished, keep it straightforward.

If you struggle with stringing a sentence together or words just aren’t fitting, consider investing in a Copywriter.

Content doesn’t just extend to words, it can also include:

  • Images: For use across your site, gallery and if you plan to include on, your blog
  • Video: Whether that’s a showstopper reel for your home page or a BTS shoot
  • Codes & Embeds: Newsletters, tracking functions, special features

It’s also worth being guided by your chosen Website Designer for your content, we all have different methods and some may require your content is delivered in a specific way. For my projects, I work on a content first basis and my clients have access to a huge stash of guidelines and resources to help them collate their content.

6. Think About SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps your website get found on Google. Include relevant keywords in your content and use descriptive titles, if you’re working with a Copywriter they will likely do this for you. It sounds techy, but it’s not rocket science. There are plenty of resources online to guide you and if budget allows, consider investing in an SEO pro to work alongside your Website Designer and Copywriter.

7. Plan Your Launch

It might sound weird to think about launching before you’ve even started the basics, but setting a plan for launch will help keep you accountable. Once your website is ready, plan a launch to get people excited. Plan to announce it on your social media, send out emails to your customers, and maybe even throw a little launch party (even if it’s just in your living room).

To wrap up

Creating a new website might seem like a big task, because well… it IS, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to showcase your amazing small business to the world. Remember, this is your chance to express what makes your business unique and why your customers love you. Enjoy the process, be proud of every step, and celebrate your accomplishments along the way.

You’re not just building a website—you’re building a digital reflection of your hard work and passion. Ready to get started? Let’s make your website as awesome as your business!

Becky x
Welcome to the BLD Blog

Hello! I’m Becky. A brand identity & website designer for passionate & ambitious small businesses. This little corner of my website is dedicated to sharing the 15 years of experience I have with brands, websites and of course running a small business.

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